top of page
  • Writer's pictureAl Thompson


The Philadelphia Catholic League announced it is shutting down 2020 fall sports. The decision is apparently not sitting well Explorers Athletic Director Joe Parisi and Prep rookie AD Dan DiBerardinis, who told the Inquirer they were looking into an independent football schedule

The Philadelphia Catholic League announced it has shut down/postponed its 2020 fall schedule of sports because of coronavirus concerns, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Many highs schools and leagues in Southeaster Pennsylvania have already shut down including he Philadelphia Public League and Del Val League, as well as several school districts Phoenixville, Cheltenham, Norristown and Pottstown.

This announcement will more than likely push other area high school leagues to cancel or postpone their seasons. The Central League may be next.

It is heartbreaking, it sucks...but it sucks for EVERYONE involved.

Note to St. Joe's Prep and LaSalle College High School.

You joined the Philadelphia Catholic League It is one of the most iconic and respected high school sports leagues the USA.

It's HIGH SCHOOL gentlemen.

Prep AD Dan DiBerardinis (third guy in the last five years I think?) and long-time respected LaSalle College High School AD Joe Parisi told the Inquirer they were looking into an independent schedule for 2020.


The Archdiocese should show both schools the door if they go independent this fall.

These two schools joined a league, took all the fruits that came with being part of the Philadelphia Catholic League.

Now the first time there is a very serious and real problem, these two programs have already publicly undermined the vehicle that got them their lofty status.

Disgraceful, and the Archdiocese needs to show some backbone for once and tell them if they go rogue, they're gone for good. Stephen Haug - Executive Director of Athletics, Archdiocese of Philadelphia needs to set a precedent. If you undermine the Philadelphia Catholic League, there will be consequences.

The athletic directors for St. Joe's Prep and LaSalle College High School need to have a Norman Dale moment for their players and let it go. There is no football this fall.

Que the Gene Hackman moment in "Hoosiers" when, as head coach of Hickory High School in Indiana, he became so obsessed with winning a state title, he was willing to put a badly injured player back into a playoff game.

Hackman's character Coach Norman Dale suddenly realizes the reality of the moment....It's a high school basketball game, what am I doing? He sends the kid the bench. He did the right thing.

The Prep and LaSalle athletic directors need to have a Coach Dale moment...follow the direction of the league and comply. Announce it now.

Where will these two programs go after this year? Just roll back to the Catholic League in 2021?

No way...goodbye! The Prep went on a 15-year playoff drought at one time...would rookie AD DiBerardinis have the guts to muse this option then?

The Prep is enjoying great success now (mostly from Gabe Infante's work). But these things run in cycles eventually.(remember CB West?).

LaSalle had a former player in Kansas City Chiefs uniform this year (see my Facebook banner). So I guess Parisi is feeling his oats right now.

Where would these two teams go? The Inter-Ac League? Nope. That league has good teams, but they don't play in the SOL there.

Your high school can't win state titles without belonging to a PIAA league. Remember Mr. Haug, you hold all the cards.

Hey, at least one of these two programs can go play its buddies from Florida again in Piscataway, New Jersey for a GIECO title or whatever corporate BS title they play for now.

Just some thoughts of a proud former Philadelphia Catholic League athlete and former CL assistant coach.

Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii

805 views0 comments


bottom of page